Pro Bowl

Snubbed Eagle Lane Johnson added to Pro Bowl team as alternate

Snubbed Eagle Lane Johnson added to Pro Bowl team as alternate

Lane Johnson is a Pro Bowler after all.

Johnson, snubbed in the original Pro Bowl announcement, has been added to the NFC Pro Bowl team as an alternate.

This is Johnson’s third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. There was no word on which offensive lineman dropped out of the game.

It was a little surprising that Johnson didn't make the team initially. He's considered one of the NFL's most dominating right tackles and was a first-team all-pro in 2017.

He didn't seem thrilled when the original team was announced a month ago:

Johnson missed the last three games of the regular season and the playoff loss to the Seahawks with a high ankle sprain, and it’s unknown whether he’ll be able to play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday in Orlando.

But for the purposes of bonuses and status, he’s now officially a three-time Pro Bowler.

Johnson becomes the seventh offensive lineman in Eagles history selected to three or more Pro Bowls.

Jason Peters was picked to seven between the 2009 and 2016 seasons. Tra Thomas, Bob Brown, Bucko Kilroy, Jason Kelce, Jim Ringo and Brandon Brooks have all been picked to three.

The 29-year-old Johnson becomes the Eagles’ sixth Pro Bowler, joining Brooks, Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz and Rick Lovato.

Johnson, the fourth pick in the 2013 draft, recently signed a contract extension that runs through 2025.

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How much money does Malcolm Jenkins want?

How much money does Malcolm Jenkins want?

How much money is Malcolm Jenkins looking for?

Something in the $14 million range should get it done.

Jenkins said Monday he won’t play in 2020 under his current contract, and a league source familiar with the thinking of Jenkins and his agent said Jenkins is seeking a deal not too far below the one Bears safety Eddie Jackson signed on Saturday.

According to Spotrac, the top five safeties in the league average between Earl Thomas’s $13.75 million per year and Jackson’s $14.6 million per year, and that’s the range Jenkins is looking at.

Two recent extensions bumped Jenkins out of the list of 10-highest-paid safeties in the NFL, based on average annual salary.

The Bears made Jackson the highest-paid safety in NFL history when they gave him a $58.4 million extension that included $33 million guaranteed.

That deal kicks in with the 2021 season and runs through 2024. Seen as in terms of new money — which is how the deal will be viewed — it’s a four-year deal averaging $14.6 million per year.

The Titans back in July gave Kevin Byard a five-year deal worth $70.5 million with $33 million guaranteed, and that $14.1 million average is second-highest in the league.

Jackson is 27, has made two Pro Bowls in a row and has 10 interceptions in three seasons. Byard has only made one Pro Bowl in four seasons but has 17 interceptions over the last three years and is 26.

Jenkins has one year left on the four-year, $35 million restructure he signed before the 2017 season. He’s due $7.6 million in base salary and a total of $7.85 million next year.

Jenkins’ contract current annual average of $8.75 million per year is now 11th-highest among safeties, according to Spotrac.

Additional extensions could bump him down lower than that.

Jenkins has made the Pro Bowl in three of the last five years, but he’s also 32, and his level of play dropped a bit in 2019. He had 3 ½ sacks, including one Sunday, but didn’t have an interception and has only one INT in his last 43 games.

It’s a tricky situation for the Eagles.

Jenkins is one of the most popular Eagles of his generation and an unquestioned locker room leader. He hasn’t missed a game or a practice in his six years here, and he hasn’t missed a meaningful snap over the last five years.

Because of his stature in the locker room, his Pro Bowl resume and the fact that the Eagles don’t really have anybody else to play safety, Jenkins has more leverage than a lot of players might in the same situation.

Heck, the only other safety on the roster who's signed for next year is Marcus Epps.

Jenkins is still a very good player, but $14 million a year for a 32-year-old safety who has shown early signs of trending downward is an awful lot of cash, and it’s hard to imagine the Eagles would go that high.

But the last thing the Eagles want is a protracted holdout next summer and the distractions it brings.

Jenkins is adamant he’s not playing for $7.85 million next year.

If the Eagles are willing to talk? Jenkins would be, too.

Reshad Jones is a good comparison. He’s the 6th-highest-paid safety in the league, two Pro Bowls in 10 seasons, and he’s 31. He’s three years into a five-year deal averaging $12 million.

A deal averaging $12 million per year would get Jenkins into the No. 6 spot among safeties.

A deal worth $11 million per year would move him up to 7th-highest-paid safety.

And a $10 million annual average gets him back into the top 10.

For now.

Is Jenkins underpaid at $8.75 million per year? Yep.

Would he be overpaid at $14 million per year? Yep.

It seems most likely the two sides will eventually meet in the middle, somewhere in the $11 ½ to $12 million range is a good guess.

All that’s certain is that it’s best for everybody if this is resolved sooner than later.

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Eagles’ Rick Lovato makes long snapper history

Eagles’ Rick Lovato makes long snapper history

Rick Lovato thought it was strange when he received a phone call from Doug Pederson on Tuesday evening. Believe it or not, the head coach doesn’t call to chat with the long snapper very frequently. 

Pederson had some good news, though. 

Lovato, the 27-year-old who was working in his family’s New Jersey sandwich shop before the Eagles signed him in 2017, had been named to his first Pro Bowl. 

“It was pretty cool to hear it from him,” Lovato said. 

It meant even more to Lovato because this was the first year in which players and coaches were permitted to vote for the Pro Bowl long snappers. Previously, that duty fell to the head coaches of Pro Bowl teams. So Lovato is a Pro Bowler because his peers think he’s the best at the job. Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox is the AFC representative. 

The idea to allow voting for long snappers began earlier this season in a group text among NFL long snapper — yes, that exists — and it came to fruition sooner than anyone expected. Lovato credited Giants long snapper and NFLPA vice president Zak DeOssie for helping to get voting on the table for this season. 

Still, Lovato initially thought it wouldn’t be in place until 2020. But it happened for this season and he’s heading to the Pro Bowl in a few weeks as one of five representatives from the Eagles, along with Brandon Brooks, Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce and Zach Ertz. 

As you heard those names on Tuesday night, you probably weren’t surprised by Brooks or Cox or Kelce or Ertz … and then there was Lovato. 

What the heck? 

It seems strange to have a long snapper from a 7-7 team make it to the Pro Bowl, but Lovato said he had been keeping track of how well other long snappers from around the league had been performing and he thought he had a chance. 

Lovato actually has five special teams tackles this season. That’s more than just four other Eagles. 

That’s the stuff guys in the know notice. 

“It’s other specialists around the league and coaches who break down film,” Lovato said. “It’s not just how fast you throw the ball or how accurate you throw the ball. Those two things are definitely factors in how well guys do around the league but there’s blocking, there’s tackles, there’s protection, there’s how well your punter and kicker are doing. Cam and Jake had a great year this year as well. All those things matter when you’re talking about long snapping and considering a long snapper for the Pro Bowl.”

Lovato is now the third consecutive Eagles’ long snapper to make the Pro Bowl, following in the footsteps of Mike Bartrum (2005) and Jon Dorenbos (2009, 2014). Eventually, he’ll get his photo on the Pro Bowl wall inside the NovaCare Complex. 

“It was just a shot in the dark,” Lovato said, “but I had a great year and people thought that as well, which is awesome.”

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